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Local News

December 20, 2013

PN Council signs TxDOT contract for Avenue enhancement

PORT NECHES — Planned enhancements for Port Neches Avenue are moving forward as councilmembers officially sign an agreement with the Texas Department of Transportation.

The City received the news that they were recipients of the much anticipated grant this summer and have been waiting for the contract and on Thursday council approved the resolution for a Local Transportation Project Advance Funding Agreement with TxDOT for a Transportation Enhancement Project for Port Neches Avenue.

“The intent is to start construction shortly after the beginning of the year in 2015,” City Manager Andrè Wimer said. “This is so as not to inconvenience the 2014 holiday shopping season.”

Merchants along Port Neches Avenue saw a decline in shoppers during a partial closure of the street last year while infrastructure work was undertaken.

Councilmember Robert Arnold asked Wimer if the merchants would be able to provide input during the design phase; the answer was yes.

Council also approved additional engineering and inspection fees for Carroll and Blackman Inc., for the Port Office Lift Station Rehabilitation Project.

Wimer explained that additional surveying is necessary because field conditions have not corresponded with maps of that area. Some of the plans, he said, had to be regraphed and redrawn. The cost for the additional surveying is $4,416.50.

A second component to the project — inspection fees, comes in at a total not to exceed $20,000.

“The bids come in substantially higher than expected because of space limitations and construction methodology,” he said.

Taylor Shelton, director of public works, said the construction site is narrow — about 15-feet wide.

In other action, council approved the purchase of a centrifuge gear box for the wastewater treatment plan. The cost of the equipment is $27,000.

Wimer said the piece of equipment is essential for the wastewater treatment process.

“This was an unanticipated equipment failure,” he said.

Other council action included:

• Approval of a request from Jamie LeFort to utilize city streets and Port Neches Riverfront Park pavilion for the Port Neches-Groves High School Project Graduation Run on Saturday, March 29, 2014.

• Approval of a request from Jamie LeFort to utilize city streets and Port Neches Riverfront Park pavilion for the RiverFest FunRun on Saturday, April 26, 2014.

• A public hearing has been scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 for a replat request for 720 Lee St. This is the property that’s home to the Neches River Wheelhouse restaurant.

• Donald Barclay was appointed to the Port Neches Senior Citizens Advisory Board. Barclay will replace Al Schwarz who recently retired from the board.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

 

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